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Title: Mary Cumming, Petersburg, [Va?] to James Craig, Lisburn.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileCumming, Mary/26
SenderCumming (n. Craig), Mary
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationmiddle class housewife
Sender Religionunknown
OriginPetersburg, Virginia, USA
DestinationLisburn, Co. Antrim, N.Ireland
RecipientCraig, James
Recipient Gendermale
SourceT 1475/2 pp.97-98: Copied by Permission of Miss A. McKisack, 9, Mount Pleasant, Belfast.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9006103
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by JM 02:09:1993.
Word Count599
TranscriptBlandford, November 11th. 1813.

I thank you most sincerely, my dearest James, for your kind and
welcome letter, which I received about a fortnight ago. I am
delighted to hear you are well and happy, and am extremely gratified
to find that neither time nor distance has diminished
the love you always had for your sister Mary. For my own part,
the longer I am from the beloved friends whom I left, my
affection for them increases. I am happy to tell you William
never enjoyed better health than he has had for the last
twelve months. As for myself, I have been ill and am now almost
well again, and this is all I will tell you, for I have written
every particular to Margaret, and writing an account of one's
own bad health is so unpleasant a subject that I shall drop it
I wish I could think of some news that would amuse you, but
I have not any, being so much confined of late, and as this is
the case I think the best thing I can do is to give you some
good advice, as I am now an old married woman I think I am
privileged; but I must remember it is to a young man I am now
writing, and not to a school boy; and now for a long lecture.
In the first place I shall take notice of that part of your
letter where you speak of a certain young lady with so much ----
what word shall I use? ---- preference I believe will do.
Now my dear Brother, take the advice of one who loves you most
sincerely, and as you value your own happiness, do not let
your affections be engaged before you know that everything
will end as you would wish. The lady you speak of has many
advantages that you will not always meet with, but you are very
young and your sentiments may change greatly, therefore keep
your heart disengaged for two or three years to come (How
these married people talk, I think I hear you say) but my dear
James, so much of your future happiness depends on the choice
you make that you cannot be too much on your guard. I am sure
you will make your wife happy if she tries to please you, and
this is what she should do if she wishes to live happy herself
and to make her husband so. You will be tired before you get
through all this lecture, but believe me your happiness is as
dear to me as my own. I have only one more advice to give you
(perhaps I may not live to give you another) and that is, if
you wish to be happy, never marry without my Father's consent.
Another piece of advice I must give you, never tell me any
more of your marrying to gain a fortune, without having affection
for the lady, if you do your misery will be certain. And now I
have done, if you are as happy in your choice as I have been
in mine I shall be quite satisfied. I wish, my dear James, you
would write oftener to me than you do, if you knew how much
pleasure your letters afford me I am sure you would. I would
give anything for your picture, sometimes I am almost determined
to ask you to get it done for me. William joins me in the
kindest love to you, and in wishing you every happiness.
Believe me to be
Your ever affectionate
Mary Cumming.
Mr. James Craig,
Revd [Reverend?] A [Andrew?] Craig,
Co. Antrim